Forgotten Heroes – Super-Soldier & Bananaman

I blame Andy…

Along with most of my peers, I have been enjoying the regular posts from Andy on his Da Gobbo’s Grotto blog regarding the game Bushido from GCT Studios. Not only has he been beavering away painting up miniatures from the two factions he has chosen, but he has also been producing some lovely scenery, objective markers and ‘control zones.’

Having complimented him on his last such post here, I jokingly said that the only thing he was missing was a “Cupid Burgers” franchise (for more details regarding this purveyor of fast food advertised by a fat winged baby, go here), but given the historical period, this was more likely to be a ‘burger cart’ rather than a building. I then (stupidly) suggested that I ought to make him one. As he got rather excited at this prospect, I felt that I really should actually do so. I get the feeling that letting Andy down is a bit like kicking a puppy…you’ll feel really bad afterwards.

And that’s why I blame Andy…

So, there will be some ‘Forgotten Heroes’ action later in this post, but let’s see what I managed to come up with…

The first thing I did was a little bit of online research, as I felt that I should try to be somewhat historically accurate. Traditionally, the Japanese did not eat a lot of meat, as being an island nation, they had access to rather a lot of fish. Obviously, as we’re inserting a historically inaccurate burger vendor into Edo era Japan, I needed to find out how the vendor would prepare the burgers he was going to be selling. Which led me to this:

This is a shichirin, which is a small portable charcoal grill, typically made from ceramic. They have, apparently, remained largely unchanged since the Edo period and come in a variety of shapes, with cylindrical, square and rectangular being the most common. Basically, it’s what we Brits refer to as a barbecue, but looks so much…cooler.

So, having now worked out how the vendor would cook the burgers, I set out to gather the materials for a little vignette, which would consist of the shichirin, the vendor’s cart and an Uma-jirushi, which were the flags used to identify the daimyo on the field of battle, but which we’re going to use for advertising purposes.

And here’s all the bits…

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So, the black plastic circle will be the base, which is 3″ in diameter; the coffee stirrers will be the shafts of the hand-cart; the toothpicks will be the frame for the flag; the poppers, cup washers and length of paperclip will be the wheels and axle for the cart; and the circular object on the far right will be the shichirin.

But what of the cheap plastic tea strainer and cobblestone sheet, you may ask? Well, a section of the cobblestone sheet will be cut out and inserted into the shichirin below the rim, to create the coals and a section of the tea strainer mesh will become the grill.

Now, sometimes when doing a build like this, what you thought was a brilliant idea doesn’t actually work in practice. I had intended using the thin piece of balsa in the picture above as a curved ‘canopy’ over the base of the cart. However, even though I’d soaked the balsa for a long period of time, it didn’t bend, it snapped. Twice. So I had to re-think. And what I came up with as an alternative I actually prefer, which is a tiled roof supported by bamboo ‘poles’. This is currently what the whole thing looks like;

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The flag pole is removable, with a ‘socket’ in the base, for easy transportation and storage. I just need to paint it up, install the grill and maybe make some teeny-tiny burgers and buns. And then it will be winging its way down to Kent, so Andy’s monks and samurai can get their fill of Cupid Burgers. Andy will be providing his own cook, however…

Right, enough digressing, on with the ‘Forgotten Heroes’…

When we last saw my two base figures, they looked like this:

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For my Super-Soldier, I removed the figure from his Heroclix flight-stand, drilled a hole in a two pence piece the same size as his ‘peg’ and using Milliput, created a scenic base that looks like paving slabs. As the majority of his costume will be created during the painting phase, I just needed to add his boot-tops, shield and belt buckle, as this actually sticks out.

The boot-tops were relatively simple, just Milliput ‘sausages’ wrapped around and then teased into shape, although I did have to prise his legs apart a bit, to allow me to access the whole of his left leg. The shield was cut from a small piece of plasticard and took two attempts to get the shape right and make it symmetrical. For the belt buckle, I had the genius idea of using a small slice of cotton bud stem. However, actually getting this the right thickness and gluing it in place proved to be a chore. But, I managed it and he now looks like this:

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Still needs some straps on the back of his shield, but after that he’s ready for some paint.

Next up is Bananaman. Having cut down the plastic molded tab, I glued the base figure to a two pence piece, and using Milliput, created a scenic base representing ‘rough ground’. I intend on adding some rubble or bricks to this, as Bananaman is renowned for (inadvertently) destroying buildings. I then cut a section out of the cloak, as Bananaman has a distinctive two-pronged ‘banana-cape’ and filed down the mohican that the base figure came with.

I then carefully attempted to sculpt his ‘banana-gloves’, ‘banana-boots’ and his cowl. However, having started with the gloves, I failed to notice that whilst I was doing the boots, I was holding the figure by his hands, so had to go back and do some remedial work on the banana ‘tufts’ a couple of times. As the figure’s head was a bit rough from filing, I decided to add the back part of his cowl, with the intention of painting his mask on afterwards. As my sculpting skills weren’t up to the task of creating the banana ‘horns’, I cheated and used some tiny curved pieces of plastic, which were positioned in place whilst the Milliput was still slightly tacky…which promptly fell off. These were then superglued in place, which took a while, as I couldn’t find any tweezers, so ended up trying to pick up the tiny bits of plastic with a pair of pliers and then position them correctly. I chased each ‘horn’ across my work surface and onto the floor a number of times. (Note to self: Buy tweezers.) So, this is what he currently looks like:

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Unfortunately, due to the ‘horns’ being a little longer than anticipated and the fact that he’s not been painted the correct colours yet, he doesn’t look like Bananaman – in fact he looks like this obscure Marvel villain…

This is Aries, part of the Zodiac Cartel, each of which is based on a sign of the zodiac. Yes, a supervillain who is essentially a goat. Scary…

I’m hoping that once I’ve got some paint on ‘Bananaman’, he will start to look like he’s supposed to. If not, I may have to trim his horns a bit. Or just remove the cape, add a tail and claim that this is what I intended all along…

Until next time…

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17 thoughts on “Forgotten Heroes – Super-Soldier & Bananaman

  1. Jez, the cart is genius! I love it, I also love the fig you looked up for me and he’s definitely going to be heading this way!

    Onto the heroes, both progressing well, banana fingers aside……ahem….

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    • Thanks Andy. I’m glad you like it – I was a touch worried when things weren’t going quite to plan, but it turned out better than initially envisioned. It will, of course, be painted in the corporate colours of “Cupid Burgers”, so expect lots of pink.
      I’m trying to decide whether the flag should be in English with an Oriental font or the kanji for beef and bread. What’s your preference?
      I’ll try and match the ground colour to your other terrain, but you might want to add some flock or grass mat to it, just to tie it in better.
      And that figure is pretty cool – I can imagine him shouting “You no want squid burger?! Stupid Samurai!!!” 😉

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        • I consider these sort of ‘side projects’ as a challenge, Andy, especially when the end ‘product’ is going elsewhere. My reputation for generosity and inventiveness is at stake, so my OCD kicks in and off I go…

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  2. Tweezers are a godsend. I actually use the forceps from the dissection kit I used when I did my biology degree over 30 years ago. They’ve lasted well 🙂

    Both figures seem to be progressing nicely. Good to see someone else using cotton-bud tubes for something as well. I am using them as flight-stands for when I rebase my Heroclix on clear perspex.

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    • Thanks Kaptain. I think I need to invest in a pair, as this is not the first to I’ve had this issue.
      And I’ve used cotton bud stems for flight stands, steering wheel columns and He-Man’s bracers. Pretty useful bit of kit and inexpensive to boot.

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  3. Jez, your food cart is superb. I’m not surprised that Andy is delighted with it. I would be, too. It’ll fit in well with his other “Bushido” terrain.
    Good progress on your pair of heroes and I’m looking forward to seeing them completed. I’m sure that once you get them painted they’ll look like Bananaman and Super-Soldier.

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    • Thanks Bryan. It’s all part of my cunning plan – I make and send things to other people and they then feature them on their blogs. Soon, all the blogs will be MINE!!! Mwah-ha-ha!!!!!

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  4. Pingback: Super Soldier and Bananaman (Jez Winstanley) – forgottenheroessite

  5. Lovely work on the stand Jez, that will look the biz once painted.

    Your two figs are progressing well too, and your sculpting is coming on too I leaps and bounds, boots and gloves are always a pain as they are so small just getting the putty to stick is a nightmare in it’s self!!

    Aries looks interesting as a character, a goat themed villain, does he eat cans and clothes?
    Just kidding I remember the Zodiac cartel, from the Avengers I think.

    Cheers Roger.

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    • Thanks Roger. Sometimes I get an idea in head and it refuses to go away until it’s been made – I HAVE to do these things, to preserve my own sanity.
      And bearing in mind your sculpting skills, that’s high praise indeed. Still at ‘apprentice’ stage, but working towards ‘journeyman’ – just need to practice a bit more.

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    • Thanks Michael. All it takes is a random comment or thought and off I go, feverishly building away. I’ve been looking at the cheap bird feeders in Wilkinson and trying to work out what I could make with them (excluding animal enclosures for Gotham Zoo, of course)…

      And they are coming along nicely – since I posted, I managed to get a base coat on both figures and Bananaman is looking good.

      And I was thinking about your Bouncing Boy build. A Legion of Superheroes Heroclix should provide suitable head, arms and legs (or any other modernish plastic figure) and you could use a plastic bead (sold individually in Hobbycraft in various sizes) for the body. Hmm, I might have a go at Pinball, who’s an obscure Marvel villain similar to Bouncing Boy, using this method. But then I’d have to do the Mink and a Remnant too…

      See? That’s all it takes!!!!

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  6. What a stonkingly great post, Jez. Your burger bar is as impressively crafted as your gifting it to Andy is generous – wonderful stuff… and I can just imagine your Sam the Eagle eyebrows furrowing in concentration at getting everything as historically accurate as you can 😉 Just a terrific present for a guy who, not unlike yourself, has cost me a lot of money in recent months with his recommendations and postings!!

    Equally as formidable though is your work on your ‘Forgotten Heroes’. I think your super-soldier in particular is going to really look the business once painted, as that shield appears spot on. Bananaman too is looking ‘ripe’ for a paint-job and I reckon he’ll look suitably impressive once some colour hits the model. All good stuff, as one would expect from the originator of this challenge!!

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    • Thanks Simon. Bryan has received a similar gift, which was completed in secret, as a thank you for gifting me with some Chibi skeletons. I believe he will be showing it on his blog fairly soon…

      And stay tuned for future developments, as I have another ‘forgotten hero’ planned before month’s end – and this one’s a monster!

      And you’re right about the eyebrows… 😉

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